Juicing Brings Delicious and Nutritional BenefitsJan 26, 2016 ● By Megy Karydes
It seems that everyone is juicing these days; even some airports sell cold-pressed varieties—they taste good and provide our bodies with nutrient-rich vitamins and minerals, which translates to better health overall. Natural Awakenings asked several local juicing experts to weigh in on what makes juicing an important part of their daily diet.
Chefs Irina Kuznetsova and Karim Raimbekov, co-owners of the Purple Sprout Café (Facebook.com/PurpleSproutCafe), say, “The benefits of juicing are undeniable; getting the oh-so-needed vitamins, cleansing effect, boost in energy and overall health conditioning. For us, it is also important to do the right juices for a person’s condition and state of mind. Our juices are created to help balance chakras with the choice of ingredients and the color of the juice.” Kuznetsova adds, “Juicing is very important, but what is most important to remember is that it doesn’t replace the significance of including whole vegetables and fruit in the daily diet.”
“Juicing is the easiest way for the body to assimilate and utilize nutrients, thus making it a great way for people to get their daily intake of the essential vitamins and minerals that are often lacking in much of the Standard American Diet,” affirms Melissa Conrad, retail/cleanse consult manager at Hi-Vibe Superfood Juicery (HiVibe.com). “Specifically, fresh, organic, cold-pressed juice contains the enzymes that further assist the body in cellular renewal and detoxification.”
“When juicing with a hydraulic press, the fiber is separated from the juice, where the majority of the nutrition lies,” says Dean Kasal, of JuiceRX (JuiceRXCleanse.com). “Little to no digestive work is necessary to experience the benefits of the fruits and vegetables you’re consuming. It’s a very powerful boost to your immune system.”
Karyn Calabrese, a living foodist, holistic health expert and owner of Karyn’s (KarynRaw.com), recommends adding juice to our daily regimen as a preventative measure. While positive results can happen immediately, sticking to it for the long term is where most people see a payoff. “Be persistent,” notes Calabrese. “Everyone is always looking for short fixes, but you don’t get from A to Z overnight. It’s a small portion of your day that will help build immunity, as well as mineralize your body, restore energy, balance hormones and transport nutrients to your cells rapidly.”
Some people may worry that juicing might not satisfy their cravings, so they’ll eat more, negating any benefits. Kimberly King, Mingle Juice Bar co-founder and sommelier (MingleJuiceBar.com), reminds customers that juicing is not about deprivation, and offers programs for juicers that want more protein. “It’s about providing your body with essential nutrients in a vehicle that your body can easily process,” says King.
Working with a professional may help to identify which types of juices work best for personal healthcare needs. One unexpected benefit of juicing is help with dehydration, says Charlotte Hammond, a Chicago-based registered dietician, hatha yoga instructor and owner of Eating with Ease (EatingWithEase.com), which provides counseling on food and nutrition. “Juicing and smoothies are particularly helpful for those who have a hard time getting their daily fruits and vegetables intake,” she says. This is true not only for those who just don’t like to eat their fruits and vegetables throughout the day, but the elderly who may not have the ability for a number of reasons.
Dennis Dombrow, owner and founder of Juice on Wheels (MyJuiceOnWheels.com), advises people not to overlook the importance of juicing the skins of citrus fruits. “It might make the juice a little bitter, but there are many important vitamins and enzymes that hide in the skin,” he notes.
“The most common myth I hear about from customers is that juicing is bad and blending is good, or blending is bad and juicing is good,” Dombrow explains, noting that each style has its own benefits. “If you drink a nutrient-dense juice, the enzymes and nutrients go directly into your blood. When you drink a blended smoothie, there is still fiber that your body has to break down, so the nutrients are not absorbed as quickly.”
Madison Kamp, of Infiniteus Rocks & Juice (infiniteusrocksandjuice.com), says, “Common myths we hear about juicing are that it’s just a trendy fad and that it contains too much sugar. Juicing has gained a lot of popularity within the last few years, but it is something people have been doing for a long time, it is healing and we believe it’s popular now because people are simply realizing how beneficial it can be!” Kamp adds that while some juices can contain a lot of sugar, it all comes down to balancing ingredients to keep sugar levels in check.
Kamp advises, “One thing we like to promote about juicing is that there is nothing hard to digest in a juice, so the body is able to immediately assimilate nutrients. It’s a great nutrient supplement and also a healthy diet. Because of soil depletion, we need more nutrients from fruits and vegetables than we can get by just eating them; adding juice into your day helps your body to get what it needs.”
Juicing is the easiest way for the body to assimilate and utilize nutrients, thus making it a great way for people to get their daily intake of the essential vitamins and minerals that are often lacking in much of the Standard American Diet.
Alina Yaccino, owner of Barrington-based Pure Organic Juicery (PureOrganicJuicery.com), hosts classes and provides meal plans, coaching and everyday support at the store, which offers nutritious juices and smoothies. She says, “No matter the calories, sugar or color, all juices have healing properties, but there is an important distinction between a juice fresh from the bar and cold-pressed juice. You should consume a fresh juice within 15 minutes to maximize the nutrient intake.”
Anthony Kamps, manger of 24 Karrots Juice Bar (24karrotsjuice.com), says, “A 24 Karrots juice cleanse is a vacation for the digestive system, giving it the time to work on detoxification without having to process solid food. To keep your body energized and maintain a healthy lifestyle, we recommend a three-day cleanse every season, with a one-day cleanse monthly or whenever you have a particularly rough weekend.”
Some people may be concerned that juicing, particularly when drinking mixes containing a lot of fruit, could cause candida overgrowth or other conditions. “Candida is a microorganism that is naturally present in our gut flora that helps with nutrient absorption, digestion, and blood sugar regulation,” explains Hi-Vibe’s Conrad. “However, due to stress, diets high in processed food and sugar, antibiotics and weakened immune system, Candida can overpopulate, and if left untreated, can cause problems such as leaky gut syndrome, brain fog, skin infections and various mood disorders.”
Conrad recommends a low sugar regimen of pure vegetable juices for those that suffer from Candida overpopulation. “This is important to know, as the fructose from fruit will aggravate those with a Candida overgrowth until the body has been cleansed and healed,” she notes.
As a practitioner, Hammond suggests being mindful of the quality of produce used for juicing. This is especially important when consuming the skins of some fruits and vegetables, and she recommends only using organic fruits and vegetables, including citrus.
Paulina Kadzielawska, founder of Pure Juice Café (PureJuiceCafe.com), in Arlington Heights, agrees that personal habits dictate how we will use juicing. “The benefits of adding at least one juice per day are tremendous,” she says, noting the benefits for her customers on a daily basis. “The more goodness you put into your body, the more you crave it, and then it becomes easier to make better food choices. Benefits follow this process.”